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View Diary: Bill McKibben: Time Is Not on Our Side (73 comments)

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  •  There's not enough mass transit. (14+ / 0-)

    In many places, there almost isn't any at all. But even in the places with functioning mass transit systems, there's not enough capacity for all of us. Seattle's bus system, for instance, is already overcrowded and underfunded. So is the DC metro during peak commuting hours. The New York subway system is better, but I think it still has crowding issues, and there's no doubt it would collapse under the weight of the entire NYC metro area suddenly deciding to use it for all of its transit needs.

    There's not enough housing within reasonably walkable/bikeable/mass-transitable distances of all workplaces, even for able-bodied people willing to walk or bike or ride mass transit if they could. The housing that does exist in close proximity to the places where most people work is prohibitively expensive specifically because it's so limited.

    A large percentage - probably a majority - of the U.S. population either simply cannot afford the one-time investment in rooftop solar/wind (because we live near the poverty line) or cannot install it (because we rent, or because we're prohibited by homeowners' associations/other local codes). Same goes for insulation and alternate heating methods.

    There is a structural limit to how much individuals can contribute to change. There are assorted laws and economic realities in place that prevent us from doing all that we might like to do even if we all suddenly decided that we wanted to do it.

    Me - I live in a green building, use minimal amounts of efficient lighting, and haven't had a driver's license in years. I'm privileged to do that. But I'm not morally superior to the young person who took my place in the Navy in San Diego, who has to live 30 miles from base because she can't afford to live closer, who drives to work every day and sometimes twice a day and air conditions her tiny apartment because otherwise it's life-threateningly hot because it was built in the '70s by clueless Northerners. I was her once. It's not a privilege. It's a burden, a necessity of circumstance. And she needs government (or at least collective) action to make changes.

    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

    by kyril on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:33:55 AM PST

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